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Mark your calendars - The contest is coming!

The deadline for the 2014 APME Journalism Excellence Awards is Friday, Feb. 27.

The awards honor superior journalism and innovation among newspapers, radio, television and digital news sites in the United States and Canada. They seek to promote excellence by recognizing work that is innovative, well-written and incisively reported and has outstanding multimedia.

Find out more here


"Tribute to the Courageous"


From Syria to the Philippines, Journalists are under attack like never before. As of Oct. 1, 2014, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 1077 journalists have died in the line of duty since 1992. (Video produced by Doral Chenoweth/Columbus Dispatch)

APME joins protest of federal proposal to restrict filming in wilderness areas

Seventeen news organizations, photographers’ organizations and First Amendment advocacy groups have sent a letter to the chief of the U.S. Forest Service opposing the Forest Service’s proposal to make permanent its interim directive on filming in the nation’s wilderness areas.

News organization, including the Associated Press, told Chief Thomas Tidwell in the letter dated Oct. 1 that we also are troubled by the proposal to apply new criteria in deciding whether to issue a permit for filming in Congressionally-designated wilderness areas.

"Language in the proposal is vague enough to allow too much latitude in its interpretation -- latitude that could include restricting or banning news photography and videography on public lands," said Alan D. Miller, president of APME. "That would be an unconstitutional and unacceptable infringement on a free press."

Miller said the organizations that signed the letter of protest have asked the Forest Service to include them in a discussion of the proposal and to reconsider its position on the matter.

Read the letter here.

And here is a Seattle Times editorial on the situation.

Miss our 2014 conference? Here's a recap 

Thanks to the more than 400 people who attended the first joint conference of ASNE and APME last week in Chicago.

If you couldn't be there, here's a quick recap of the three days of presentations.

And start thinking now about our 2015 joint conference, which is planned for October at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.  

Update from the ASNE-APME conference and new APME officers, directors

Alan D. Miller, managing editor for news at The Columbus Dispatch, was elected president of the Associated Press Media Editors at the group's annual conference in Chicago. Miller has been involved with APME for more than a decade and on the board since 2008. As vice president this year, Miller helped oversee APME’s committees, including NewsTrain, the trade organization’s marquee continuing-education program.

Read more about Miller and the other new officers and directors here.

The conference wraps up this afternoon, after a keynote luncheon, "First Amendment under Fire", featuring James Risen of the New York Times.

Follow along on Twitter with hashtag #editors2014.

You also can follow conference coverage from college students.

Earlier in the conference, the annual awards luncheon recognized Michael Days, editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, and the New Haven Register as this year's recipients of the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership. Read more about this year's recipients.

The Wall Street Journal also was named Innovator of the Year for its "Startup of the Year" project. Conference attendees voted on the winner after hearing presentations from the WSJ and the other two finalists, The Columbus Dispatch and the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Fla. For a full list of awards, click here.

The conference schedule can be found here.

Michael Days, New Haven Register named winners of McGruder Award  

Michael Days, editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, and the New Haven Register are the recipients of the 13th annual Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership, awarded by the Associated Press Media Editors in partnership with the American Society of News Editors and other journalism organizations.

The McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership is given annually to individuals, news organizations or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and a graduate of Kent State University. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002. A past president of APME and a former member of the board of directors of ASNE, McGruder was a relentless diversity champion. The awards will be presented Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, at the annual awards luncheon of the ASNE-APME conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago.

Read more. 


APME condemns violations of First Amendment rights in Ferguson, Mo.
The Associated Press Media Editors association joins with our colleagues at the American Society of News Editors, the National Association of Black Journalists and others to express our grave concerns about news events in Ferguson, Mo., and the threat to press freedom as journalists attempt to chronicle those developments.

"The withholding of information by law enforcement, the unlawful detainment of journalists and the censoring of the unfolding story is unacceptable," said APME President Debra Adams Simmons. "We join with ASNE in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to protect the First Amendment rights of everyone involved."

Read the ASNE statement and NABJ statement.

NEW: ASNE-APME conference schedule released

We're happy to share a draft of the historic ASNE-APME conference agenda with you! Check out a number of great, exciting sessions and lively events Sept. 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of downtown Chicago.  

The conference theme is "Fast Forward," and it meshes with a packed program that features media thought leaders and digital innovators. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be welcoming attendees, and the conference will quickly evolve into a powerful program on leading change.

Leadership (on Monday), innovation and creativity (Tuesday) and values (Wednesday) are among the conference's key themes.

Find the full schedule here


APME survey: Editors remain concerned about quality and tone of online comments

By Gary Graham
The Spokesman-Review

Newspaper managers and editors strongly support online comments about their daily content and most are unlikely to ban comments, but that doesn't mean they are satisfied with the quality and tone of comments.

An APME Sounding Board survey of newspaper editors, publishers and online editors in April drew 101 responses and 94 percent of the group reported that they consistently allow comments. Many of the respondents said they believe allowing comments is important to encourage community discussions in a public forum.

Editors were critical of the general nature of comments because, in their view, comments are too often negative, off the topic, uninformed and lacking civility. Several editors said a small number of individuals tend to dominate the online conversation.

Asked how likely is it that their organizations will ban online commenting, 71 percent said it is unlikely and another 11 percent said they never would.  Nine percent said it is very likely they will ban all comments and another 8 percent said such a step is likely. While the majority of editors who responded said they are not inclined to eliminate all comments on their sites, many attempt to ban readers who consistently abuse the website's policies on commenting or ignore the standards altogether. One editor said the comments don't reflect poorly on the website and that editors should spend less time worrying about the nature of the comments.

Fifty-five percent of those responding said they place a moderate amount of value on commenting and another 14 percent said they placed a great deal of value on it. Editors said the comments are beneficial because they encourage an exchange of ideas and that readers often have suggestions for follow-up stories or point out inaccuracies.

The editors surveyed seemed relatively split on the issue of allowing anonymous comments. Fifty-four percent do not allow anonymous postings, but 46 percent do. Only 38 percent of the news organizations require commenters to identify themselves by first and last name.  Several editors noted they restrict commenting to online or print subscribers.

More than half, 56 percent, use a comment-hosting service. Of those services, Facebook appeared to be the most popular with 61 percent of the editors using it, followed by Disqus with 21 percent. Only 12 percent of the editors report the comments are monitored by staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Twenty-seven percent monitor comments 13 to 16 hours a day, while 15 percent monitor only two to four hours daily.

Editors who only allow commenting through Facebook said the Facebook emphasis on using a first and/or last name has resulted in a slight improvement in the level of community conversation, but others noted many commenters don't seem concerned about the lack of anonymity.

Several editors who responded said that in a time of diminishing newsroom resources they are concerned about the amount of staff time required to moderate the comments. One editor requires that all comments be reviewed and cleared by an editor before they are posted on the newspaper's website.

APME is accepting nominations for the 13th Annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership.

Two awards are given annually: one for newspapers with a circulation up to 75,000; one for newspapers with more than 75,000 circulation.
The awards go to individuals, news organizations or related journalistic organizations or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of Robert G. McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, graduate of Kent State University and relentless diversity champion. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002.

This year, the awards are being sponsored by the Associated Press Media Editors, American Society of News Editors, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and the Newseum Institute.

Jurors will be looking for nominees who have made a significant contribution during a given year or over a number of years toward furthering diversity in news content and in recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce. Announcement of the winners will be made at the joint APME/ASNE convention September 15-17 in Chicago. The recognized honorees each receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy.

Deadline: Material must be received by close of business Friday, August 15th.

Send material to:

Sally Jacobsen, email:
450 West 33rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10001

APME announces winners of Journalism Excellence Awards

        The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's investigation of delays in newborn screening programs captured top honors in the annual Associated Press Media Editors’ Journalism Excellence Awards.
        The newspaper’s "Deadly Delays” project won in three categories - Public Service, First Amendment and the Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism.
        "APME salutes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and all of this year's winners for the exemplary journalism being produced in newsrooms around the country," APME President Debra Adams Simmons said. "We are proud to celebrate journalism that changes lives. The news industry's commitment to solid public service journalism, defense of the First Amendment and digital storytelling is as strong as ever.”
       The 2013 APME contest recognized news organizations in seven categories and AP staff members in separate judging.  
      "This is journalism with an exclamation mark,” the judges wrote in selecting the Journal Sentinel’s project for the 44th annual Public Service Best of Show award.  "What started as a data-driven project evolved into a momentous report filled with human dimension and a need for action.” The award, sponsored by the APME Foundation, carries a $1,500 prize.
        The newspaper also won the Tom Curley First Amendment Sweepstakes Award for the project, which analyzed data nationwide on screening programs designed to detect rare diseases in newborns and found delays at hospitals in testing the results, putting infants at risk. The award, sponsored by the APME Foundation, carries a $1,000 prize.
        "This is investigative journalism at its best, practiced by masters of the genre," said the judges in the First Amendment category.
       The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the Virgin Islands Daily News won Public Service awards in their circulation categories. 
       The Gazette was honored in the 40,000 to 149,000 circulation category for its reporting on how wounded combat veterans lose benefits after being discharged by the Army for minor offenses. "Powerful and beautifully told,’’ the judges said. "It stands up by every measure of journalism excellence we apply.”
            The Daily News was recognized in the small circulation category for "EMS in Chaos,” a three-part series that revealed poor management in the Emergency Medical Service division on St. Thomas island.
            "Once again the Virgin Islands’ staff shines with its tenacity and reporting,” said the judges, who noted the paper also won the Public Service award for its circulation category last year. It also won the Tom Curley First Amendment Sweepstakes award last year.
            The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Colorado Springs Gazette were also honored in the Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism. Each will receive $2,500. The award is sponsored by the Gannett Foundation.
            Other winners in the First Amendment category were the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Florida, in the medium circulation category, for its "Breaking the Banks” project about the failure of community banks in Florida and how local bankers shaped the crisis, and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, in the small circulation category, for a series of stories and editorials on the University of Wyoming’s attempt to keep secret the hiring process for a new president.
          Finalists in the Innovator of the Year contest were: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. They will compete at APME’s joint conference with the American Society of News Editors Sept. 15-17 in Chicago. The winner will be judged by conference attendees and receive $1,000. The award is sponsored by GateHouse Media Inc.
           USA Today was the winner of a new category, "Best Mobile Platform," for its mobile app.
           APME also announced award winners in two other innovation categories as well as Digital Storytelling and International Perspective. Awards will be presented at the awards luncheon Sept. 16 during the ASNE-APME conference.
           Judges did not participate in discussions or vote on categories involving their own news organizations’ entries.
           APME is an association of editors and content leaders at newspapers, broadcast outlets and digital newsrooms as well as journalism educators and student leaders in the United States and Canada. APME works closely with The Associated Press to foster journalism excellence.
          Here are the award winners:


            44th Annual Public Service:
            -Winner of Public Service Best of Show and $1,500:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Deadly Delays.”

Over 149,000 circulation:

            -Winner: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Deadly Delays.”

           -Honorable mention: The Washington Post, "Homes for the Taking,” which revealed abuses by investors and the loss of hundreds of properties in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, often over tax debts of just a few hundred dollars.

40,000 to 149,000 circulation:

            -Winner: The Gazette, Colorado Springs, "Other Than Honorable.”

           Honorable mention: Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Fla., "Breaking the Banks.”

Under 40,000 circulation:

            -Winner: Virgin Islands Daily News, "EMS in Chaos.”

            -Honorable mentions: Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho, "Never Again”, about wildland firefighting deaths; and The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Va., "Inside ABC,” about abuses in the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agency.

            Judges: APME President Debra Adams Simmons, vice president of news development, Advance Local; Bob Heisse, editor, The Times Media Co.; Hollis Towns, executive editor, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press; Bill Church, executive editor, Herald-Tribune Media Group, Sarasota, Fla.; Aminda Marques Gonzalez, executive editor, The Miami Herald; Laura Sellers, managing editor, The Daily Astorian, Astoria, Ore.; Jim Simon, deputy managing editor, The Seattle Times; and Brian Carovillano, managing editor, U.S. news, The Associated Press.


           44th Annual First Amendment Award and Citations

           -Winner of the Tom Curley Sweepstakes Award and $1,000: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Deadly Delays.”

      Over 149,000 circulation:

           -Winner: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Deadly Delays.”

           40,000-149,999 circulation

           -Winner: Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, "Breaking the Banks.”

           Honorable mention: The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Freedom of Information work on "Other than Honorable,” "Honor and Deception” and other projects.

            Under 40,000 circulation:

           -Winner: Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

           -Honorable mention: The Ledger, Lakeland, Fla., for its work to gain access to public records held by the Lakeland Police Department.

           Judges: Mark Baldwin, executive editor, Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, chairman; APME Vice President Alan Miller, managing editor, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch; Teri Hayt, executive editor, The Canton (Ohio) Repository; and Tom Kent, deputy managing editor/standards editor, The Associated Press.


            International Perspective Awards

          Over 149,000 circulation:

          -Winner: Seattle Times, "Sea Change,” about how acidification is disrupting the Pacific’s marine ecosystem far faster and on a far bigger scale than first predicted.

          40,000 to 149,999 circulation:

          -Winner: Portland (Maine) Press Herald, "Arctic Partnership,” about the economic impact for Portland and Maine of the decision by an Icelandic shipping company to move its North American headquarters to Portland.

         Under 40,000 circulation:

          -Winner: Times-News, Twin Falls, "At the Door,” about the rigorous training and eventual assignments of Mormon Church members as missionaries worldwide. It offered a rare look at how the missionaries’ personal lives change dramatically over the one-year assignment.

          Judges: Gary Graham, editor, The Spokesman Review, Spokane, Wash., chairman; Thomas Koetting, assistant managing editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; and John Daniszewski, senior managing editor, international news, The Associated Press.


            Digital Storytelling

            Over 149,000 circulation:

           -Winner: The Denver Post, "Chasing the Beast,” about a storm chaser’s ride through central Oklahoma during a tornado.

           -Honorable mention: The Arizona Republic, "Alone on the Hill,” about the deaths of the Yarnell Hill firefighters.

            40,000 to 149,999 circulation:

           -Winner: Maine Sunday Telegram, "Challenge of our Age,” about the human impact of aging and how the state’s public and private agencies are poorly prepared to meet the needs of an aging population.

           -Honorable mention: The Gazette, Colorado Springs, "Other Than Honorable.”

            Under 40,000 circulation:

           -Winner: Times-News, Twin Falls, "When the Smoke Clears,” about firefighter deaths in the West.

           -Honorable mention: The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W. Va., "JFK: The Legacy Lives.”

           Judges: APME Vice President Alan Miller, managing editor, The Columbus Dispatch, chairman; Alan English, executive editor/general manager, Shreveport (La.) Times; and Monica Richardson, managing editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


           Finalists for the Eighth Annual Innovator of the Year Award

           -Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, "The Stolen Ones,” about sex trafficking of children in an underground economy.

           -The Wall Street Journal, "Start-Up of the Year,” digital video offering, with a microsite, on 24 early-stage startups, which received mentoring from successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business executives.

          -The Columbus Dispatch, for its sustained enhanced format.

           Judges: Joe Hight, editor, The Gazette, Colorado Springs, chairman; Meg Downey, former managing editor, The Tennessean, Nashville; George Rodrigue, managing editor, The Dallas Morning News; Linda Negro, managing editor, Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press; and Alison Gerber, editor, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press.


          Third Annual Innovator of the Year Award for College Students

          -Winner: Department of Journalism, College of Media, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for its mobile app "Virtual Dugout,” which allows fans to follow the university’s baseball team.
           Judges: Chris Cobler, editor, Victoria (Texas) Advocate, chairman; Angie Muhs, executive editor, The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.; Autumn Phillips, editor, Times-News, Twin Falls.


            Fourth Annual Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism

            75,000 circulation and below:

           -Winner: The Gazette, Colorado Springs, "Other Than Honorable.”

           -Honorable Mention: Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, "Breaking the Banks.”

           Above 75,000 circulation:

           -Winner: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Deadly Delays.”

           -Honorable mention: The Washington Post, for its disclosures of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency.

          Judges: Sellers, chairman; Simmons; and Sonny Albarado, projects editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.


           Best Mobile Platform

           -Winner: USA Today, for its mobile platform.

           -Honorable mention: Knoxville News (Tenn.) Sentinel, for its iPad app.

           Judges: Downey, chairman; Graham, and Church.

ASNE and APME join forces in Chicago!

Registration is open for the ASNE-APME joint conference Sept. 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of downtown Chicago! This will be the first joint conference of the nation's top editors.

Our theme: ASNE/APME 2014: Fast Forward

Register now: We're planning a great convention in Chicago. Click here to register.

We will begin at 1 p.m. CDT Monday, Sept. 15, and conclude about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17.

In between, we will present lively and topical conference sessions that will explore key issues newsroom leaders are tackling; showcase innovations; and provide practical takeaways in such areas as improving content on mobile, increasing audience engagement and reach, and developing partnerships for greater impact.

Some of the programs on tap include:
-- Jim Bankhoff, CEO of Vox Media, discusses the ecology of news startups.
-- Amy Webb and Tom Rosenstiel will highlight the latest trends involving news audiences and emerging technology, and discuss the implications of these trends for journalists.
-- How to succeed at mobile news before it's too late, featuring David Ho of the Wall Street Journal, Jodi Gersch of Gannett and Ian Fisher of the New York Times.

Other sessions focus on engaging diverse communities, managing news partnerships, creating a culture of innovation and talking leadership with Poynter's Jill Geisler and Butch Ward.

Other highlights:

  • We will celebrate winners of the APME Journalism Excellence awards and ASNE Awards at a special lunch Tuesday. On Wednesday, we will meet again for lunch with a keynote speaker. Tickets to both lunches can be purchased when you register.
  • We'll party together Monday night at the opening reception and auction at the historic Tribune Tower, sponsored by the Chicago Tribune. The silent and live auctions will offer sports tickets, vacation retreats, jewelry, autographed books and more.

We'll offer two entertainment events Tuesday night:

  • Cruise the Chicago River and enjoy the beautiful skyline at a reception on the Mystic Blue, sponsored by the Illinois Press Association and the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors.
  • Or take in a baseball game and see the Chicago Cubs play the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field with a group of editors.


Book your hotel room: A block of rooms are reserved at the Hyatt Regency until Aug. 29 for only $189/night. Make a reservation online, or call the hotel directly at 312-565-1234 and mention the block of rooms reserved for ASNE and APME.

For more details, go to or

Questions? Contact Cindy Roe at or Sally Jacobsen at


Editors share challenges to access for Sunshine Week

We asked editors to send us their stories about roadblocks to access in their communities. We posting those stories on this site and will use them in a special APME Update.The Associated Press may use some of the materials in its coverage of Sunshine Week, The AP may also use some of the material in its coverage of Sunshine Week, March 16-22.

If you wish to submit your stories and editorials, email to and

Our collection, so far:
• The Tennessean: Metro exploits rape case for own ends
Claims of media sensationalism are merely a cover for attempt to avoid accountability (Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014)
The Tennessean: Sexual assault privacy bill: protecting victims or those in power? (Feb. 12, 2014)
• The Tennessean: 'On a very tight leash'
Children's Services angers lawmakers to whom agency owes its existence (Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014)
• The Tennessean: Trust in justice system suffers in secrecy (Oct. 18, 2013)
• Echo Press: Council gets it right (Feb. 28, 2014)
• Echo Press: Public's right to know takes a step backward (Feb. 21, 2014)

• The Columbus Dispatch: Board admits to illegal meetings (Feb. 21, 2014)

• A letter from The Columbus Dispatch

Read them all here

March 2014 APME News magazine online now

We’ve changed the deadline for the APME awards to March 31

EDITOR'S NOTE: This edition of APME News is not only the first magazine for 2014, it represents the first efforts by our association'’s Marketing Committee, led by Angie Muhs of the Portland Press Herald, to help extend the reach and depth of our content.

Angie wrote our cover story, “Obstacles to access,” which begins on Page 6. She also was the inspiration of our APME Sounding Board survey on the topic of public access and the obstacles faced by our member editors.

She also notes in the story how APME, working with the American Society of News Editors, made a principled stand about the White House’s frequent use of handout photos in lieu of providing access to President Barack Obama (you can read from the two group leaders on Page 8).

My thanks to Angie, Alan English and Autumn Phillips for their contributions to this issue, along with the inputs and edits from other colleagues and committee members.

Speaking also of our sister organization, you can read a report on Page 5 about our upcoming joint conference with ASNE in Chicago. This will certainly be a don’t-miss event, so please make every effort to join this historic combination of these two groups.

Also of note: Changes to the APME contest deadlines. Entries are due March 31, so make sure you read all about it on Page 18.

Learn more here

APME launches Career Center for job postings and job-seekers


Today there is a new way to find great applicants for your newsroom.


The Associate Press Media Editors' Career Center is free and focused on journalism.


Visit to post open positions. No login is required. APME will help drive traffic to your listings through social media, our weekly APME Update email and more.


If you are looking for a new career opportunity, get a free Job Seeker account or login with your APME member account, fill out your profile and upload your resume. You can also sign up for notifications of relevant new positions in your areas of interest.


This is a new feature for, so if you have suggestions or encounter trouble, please contact Laura Sellers.


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About Associated Press Media Editors

APME is a professional network, a resource for helping editors and broadcasters improve their news coverage and newsroom operations.

Calendar of Events

APME is active throughout the year bringing editors and broadcasters together to share ideas and find solutions.

  • March 31, 2014: APME contests deadline
  • Sept. 15-17, 2014: APME/ASNE Conference in Chicago
  • Journalism News

    Whether daily, weekly or in APME's quarterly magazine, stay on top of practical news for newsroom leaders.